Global Impact Challenges

Exceptional ideas, extraordinary people

Are you an experienced entrepreneur with an idea that can improve the lives of a billion people using exponential technology?

Are you passionate about bringing a moonshot innovation from idea to reality? If so, we're looking for you! 

About Global Impact Challenges

Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are annual competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges are an open call to entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements*:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be fluent in spoken and written English

“Through the experience, knowledge and network acquired at GSP, I expect to push the project much further.”

— Pablo Orduña

2016 GIC Winner

2018 Challenges

SingularityU Argentina
Global Impact Challenge

Applications open

Enter Now

SingularityU Japan
Global Impact Challenge

Applications open

Enter now

“Singularity University is a place that makes you discover your passions and empower you to change the world.”

— Mariana Vasconcelos

Brazil, 2015 GIC Winner

Past Challenges

Here are some of the challenges we've held in the past.

2017 Challenges

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SingularityU Argentina

SingularityU Brazil

SingularityU Canada

SingularityU Caribbean

SingularityU Chile

SingularityU Costa Rica

SingularityU Denmark

SingularityU East Africa

SingularityU Finland

Food in Emergencies

SingularityU India

SingularityU Italy

SingularityU Japan

SingularityU MENA

SingularityU Miami

SingularityU The Netherlands

SingularityU Norway

SingularityU Peru

SingularityU San Francisco

SingularityU Singapore

SingularityU Southern Africa

SingularityU Spain

SingularityU Texas

SingularityU Ukraine

SingularityU West Africa

2016 Challenges

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SingularityU 92Y

USA | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Argentina

Argentina | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Central & Eastern Europe

Europe | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Chile

Chile | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Denmark

Denmark | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Finland

Finland | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU France

France | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Italy

Italy | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Mexico

Mexico | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Norway

Norway | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Peru

Peru | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU South Africa

South Africa | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Spain

Spain | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU The Netherlands

The Netherlands | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU University of Georgia

USA | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

Become a GIC Sponsor

Sponsoring a GIC signals to the world that your organization is committed to finding innovative solutions to humanity's most urgent problems and to investing in talented change agents who are working tirelessly to bring these innovations to life in every corner of the world.

Explore GIC sponsorship opportunities

Sign Up for Updates

You'll be the first one to know about new Challenges as they're added.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most commonly asked questions

What is a GIC?

Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are annual incentive competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges are an open call to entrepreneurs, technologists and scientists with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years.

Who should apply to a GIC

You’re an ideal candidate if you:

  • Are an experienced entrepreneur who has already turned over at least one successful company, and are ready to do it again in the impact space 
  • Are a technical or problem space expert who is eager to build a company alongside a seasoned entrepreneur
  • Are an accomplished technologist, scientist, or change agent and are recognized as a thought leader in your chosen field(s)
  • Have a background in or a passion for addressing climate change
  • Have an innovative solution to an urgent global challenge—ideally, but not limited to, climate change—that leverages exponential technologies and can positively impact a billion people within 10 years 

Are you hosting a GIC in my country?

For information on open challenges, you can sign up to receive updates on new GICs as they’re announced.

What is the GIC schedule?

The schedule varies from one challenge to another. For more information, please consult the individual challenge listings above.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Applicants:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must speak fluent English

For specific eligibility requirements, see the individual challenge pages.

Do ideas have to be at a certain stage to be submitted?

No, ideas do not have to be at a certain stage to be submitted.

Who is the owner of the intellectual property resulting from a GIC?

Intellectual property resulting from a GIC belongs to the applicant(s).

What is the GIC review process?

The selection process has two to three phases, depending on the challenge. The first phase involves a review of all applications to determine 5-10 finalists, and the second phase involves final judging to select the winner—this is either done remotely via video call, or at a pitch event.

What is the selection criteria for the winner?

  • Degree of solution's relevance to the theme of the challenge
  • Feasibility, viability and coherence of implementing the idea
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
  • Applicant’s leadership experience, profile, potential, and achievements

Note: Selection criteria may vary from one challenge to another.

Who comes to SU if a member of an existing team wins a GIC?

If the challenge winner is part of an existing team—the team is not eligible—only the individual who applied would come to SU.

Who pays for the travel expenses for the winner to come to SU?

GIC winners are responsible for their own travel expenses to/from SU.

Who is tasked with organizing a visa for a GIC winner?

GIC winners are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas required for their attendance for SU programs. Most of our non-US passport holding participants have attended on a ESTA waiver program, tourist visa, or a B-1 or B-2 business visa. Despite having “University” in its name, SU is not an accredited, degree-granting institution and therefore does not sponsor student visas. 

 

What happens if a visa is denied to a GIC winner?

In the rare case where a GIC winner is denied a visa, the winner forfeits his or her winning seat to the GIC first runner-up and would have to then reapply for admission in a future year.